Archives For Points To Ponder

Points To Ponder

3 Practical Steps to Forgiving Yourself

by Lifeway Men

Over the years, helping men deal with anger, grudges, bitterness, rage, and hatred has always been an amazing experience, watching the Holy Spirit address past issues and lead guys to new freedom. Watching men forgive fathers, mothers, siblings, wives, ex-wives, children, bosses, and so on breaks the bondage of them “holding someone hostage” in their hearts.

But the one person that all of us men struggle the most to forgive, and often can’t, is ourselves. Letting go of the past, getting rid of regrets, and stopping the beating and bleeding from “the condemnation club” often feels impossible to do.

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When God Doesn’t Listen

By Drew Tankersley

Perhaps one of the most frustrating phenomena of parenting younger children is their inability to listen.  As a parent of an 11-year-old and a 7-year-old, I know all to well the irritation of a child who is completely distracted and patently oblivious to the requests of their parental unit.  Technology is the greatest culprit of distraction in our house. 

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3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Pray for the Persecuted Church

By Ruth Ripkin (International Mission Board)

Stories of the persecuted church around the world have grown in number of late. This one regarding Christian arrests in Iran ran just last week. An article that appeared on CNN earlier this year claimed that 2015 held the distinct honor of producing the highest rate of Christian persecution in history. Of course, the case of Iranian American Pastor Saeed Abedini has topped news cycles for the last three years. 

These stories aren’t going to go away; Jesus informed his followers that persecution would come (John 15:18–25). It’s not a new thing—just ask the early church—but many within the rather insulated West have been unaware of its existence for a while. As we continue to awaken to this reality, we need to think about how to understand persecution. More importantly, we need to learn how to persevere through it and pray for those who face it around the world. 

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Americans Love God and the Bible, Are Fuzzy on the Details

By Bob Smietana (Lifeway Research)

Americans don’t know much about theology. Most say God wrote the Bible. But they’re not sure everything in it is true.

Six in 10 say everyone eventually goes to heaven, but half say only those who believe in Jesus will be saved. And while 7 in 10 say there’s only one true God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—two-thirds say God accepts worship of all faiths.

Those are among the findings of a new survey of American views on Christian theology from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

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Points To Ponder

The Gospel According To Cats & Dogs

From the Gospel Coalition

The gospel according to cats offers no grace. The gospels according to dogs expects no obedience. Take your pick: a Christianity without mercy or a Christianity without repentance. Neither are truly Christian.

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Red Heifers, Dirty Laundry, & Ceremonial Uncleanness

By Drew Tankersley

The great American novelist, Nathaniel Hawthorne, most known for His work, The Scarlet Letter, as his wife was away on a journey once wrote,

“The washing of dishes does seem to me the most absurd and unsatisfactory business that I ever undertook. If, when once washed, they would remain clean for ever and ever (which they ought in all reason to do, considering how much trouble it is), there would be less occasion to grumble; but no sooner is it done, than it requires to be done again. On the whole, I have come to the resolution not to use more than one dish at each meal.”

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COMMENTARY: What Every Christian Should Consider in a National Election

By Dr. Mac Brunson (Christian Examiner)

“As a nation, we stand at a crossroads. This election requires every citizen to be alert, informed, and prepared to vote. We have not seen an election this important in more than 100 years – perhaps not since the election of Abraham Lincoln.”

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3 Ways Spurgeon Conquered His Secret Sin

By Christian George

For the past century, Charles Spurgeon’s strengths have often overshadowed his weaknesses. His biographers are largely to blame, painting the preacher as a superhero incapable of vice or vulnerability.

Yet warts reveal as much as dimples do.

Spurgeon had both. He experienced seasons of success, but he also harbored hidden faults — secret sins that sought to undermine his ministry.

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I would love to hear your comments about these Points To Ponders. Or even let me know of an article that you have found interesting.

 

Points To Ponder

 

It appears that the American system is rigged. That our country’s laws are only for the “little people,” but not for blue-blood political royalty. So why should everyday Americans bother to be involved in the political process, if it’s so obviously corrupt? Why should we even care anymore?

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Chief Anton prepared for his journey. It would take him 8 days to travel downriver in his dugout canoe, so he would need some basic supplies – water and some food. He set out alone.

Many days later, the chief found himself in the village of San Antonio. He asked around and found the house of the missionary. He arrived at the house and with his very limited Portuguese said, “I have come to learn about God”.

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Times of tragedy are difficult for everyone. We all want to think our world and environments we live in are safe, secure, and happy. However, when unexpected disasters occur we’re often left without understanding.

Tragedies can be natural calamities (such as tornadoes or hurricanes). Other times, we face what appear to be untimely accidents or deaths of loved ones. Still yet, there are catastrophes caused by evil-doing.

As much as we want to safeguard our children against such grim situations, they often hear the news events from friends or through the media. As always, parents need to temper explanations given to children according to the child’s age level of understanding.

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Points To Ponder

Whether you want to call it brokenness, radical corruptness, fallenness, or total depravity, the Bible affirms our total sinfulness. We may want to avoid the above labels, but we must embrace what the Bible clearly communicates. To shy away from Scripture’s teaching on our sinfulness is to ignore clear biblical truth.

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My son was in trouble, again.

It was a pretty good day, but it went downhill. He was running down the hallway with his sister, except she wasn’t running fast enough. Since she was in front of him he decided to “move” her. She cried. I yelled. Then sent him to his room. After feeling guilty for yelling in anger, I found him in his room, facedown on his bed, crying. I’m stupid, he said. I never make good decisions. I always do the wrong thing. She’s always so nice to me and I always hurt her. But I can’t help it!

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David wrote this Psalm when Saul was seeking his life (1 Sam. 19). Knowing that Saul had a hit out on David, led David’s friends to tell him to flee to the mountains. It was his only hope of safety. The society was corrupt. The judges in the king’s pocket. Everyone was against David and out for his life. If he wanted to survive, he needed to leave and never come back.

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I would love to know your thoughts about these articles? Leave a comment below.

Points To Ponder

If someone were to pole 10 people on defining the term discipleship you will be hard-pressed to get the same definition. In fact, you might leave more confused. I have noticed, over the years, the same thing with the term faith. A word often spoken about in Christian circles everywhere. Faith, however, is a word that can be one of the most difficult to define for many Believers. Greg Gilbert affirms this when he says, “Faith is one of those words that’s been misused for so long that most people have no idea what it really means. Ask someone on the street to describe faith, and while you might get some respectful-sounding words, the heart of the matter will most likely be that faith is belief in the ridiculous against all evidence.” To be fair to those who are outside of the faith they shouldn’t have to provide an exact definition of faith (much less a Biblical one). We as Believers know far too well that our faith isn’t belief in the ridiculous, yet why do we struggle so much to define what is such a cornerstone to our faith?

So, for the record, “What is Faith?” And/or, “How would we/you define it?”

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.

Your church is broken because it’s made up of broken people, including yourself. Abandoning the local church is only acceptable under a few extreme circumstances. Other than in certain circumstances, the people of God have the responsibility to sacrificially love their local churches as Jesus has.

If anyone has the right to abandon the adulterous, idolatrous bride called “Church,” it’s God, and he hasn’t, so we need to be careful how quick we are to bail when the going gets tough.

Here are three bad reasons to leave the local church:

Writing to Timothy, his son in the ministry, Paul balanced warning and instruction. Paul reminded his protégé to continue engaging God’s Word like he had done since childhood. Paul emphasized that the Bible was inspired by God to equip Christ’s followers for their work.

Points To Ponder

I was 22 and my wife was 21 when we got married. A year later, our first son was born. Four years later our second son was born. For most of our marriage, we’ve had kids in the house.

But now…25 years later we find ourselves in a new season of life. We’re empty nesters.

It’s a lot quieter around our house. The wonderful sounds that accompany the world of kids have faded away.

I once heard of a couple that had a grandfather clock. Soon after becoming empty nesters, they sold it. The constant ticking…which they never noticed when they had kids at home…now echoed through the rooms and annoyed them.

We tend to hate the sin in others much more than we hate the sin in our own lives. In our pride, we tend to judge the motives of others much more than we question our own. We are often much more frustrated with others than we are with ourselves, much less patient with the growth in someone else than in our own sanctification.

A sense of spiritual superiority can be a good indication that I am growing cold toward Him. A growing sense of angst toward others combined with a growing sense of smug satisfaction with my own goodness is a good indication that my heart, once again, needs to “see the King, the Lord of Hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

When we grasp the Lord’s holiness, we are broken for the sin in our own lives. When we turn our hearts to the Lord, we see the planks in our own eyes before the specks in everyone else’s.

I just finished preaching a series over the Genesis 1-12. In the last chapter — Genesis 12 — we encountered Abram (Abraham). He is a great example of someone who had to trust that God would use him.

Love this tweet from Tim LaFleur!

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